I didn’t start off to make June 2023 Los Lobos month until today; let’s make it so. Uh oh, I sound like the bald Yorkshireman who plays a bald French Starfleet admiral. There are worse things than that. Engage. There I go again.
I’ve paired this week’s theme song with a Picasso painting from his Blue Period. Why was he blue? Beats the hell outta me and I can’t ask him. The women in his life dug an extra deep grave to ensure that he couldn’t escape. Awful man, great artist.
Dream In Blue was written by David Hidalgo and Louie Perez for Los Lobos’ 1992 masterpiece, Kiko. It was the opening track of the album. We open with the original studio version and a 2006 live version.
I mentioned Picasso. The Smithereens have their own Blue Period and recorded it on the go-go with Belinda Carlisle. Pat Dinizio often said that singing with Ms. Carlisle was one of the best days of his life.
Enough earnestness, lets go-go on Vacation with the Go-Go’s:
One more related tune before we get up and go to our second act:
We begin our second act with a book excerpt. Who among us doesn’t like free samples?
Kate The Great: Vanity Fair has re-posted a 2006 excerpt from a Katharine Hepburn biography by William J. Mann. It describes how she transformed herself into a bona fide icon. I hate that word but if it must be used it fits Hepburn. Get thee to Vanity Fair for the details.
Catty Chefs: There’s deeply weird piece at Grub Street by Ezra Marcus about a deeply weird restaurant couple: Will Aghajanian and Elizabeth Johnson. They no longer work together after a series of bizarre incidents including accusations that he’s a cat serial killer. I am not making this up.
Neither Johnson nor Aghajanian are particularly nice people but he’s worse. He committed restaurant people heresy:
Former Mimi employees say Aghajanian often seemed insulted that he was expected to prepare family meal for the staff, the standard at any buzzy Manhattan restaurant. Typically, family meal is something hearty and comforting that workers can eat before a busy service. Instead, Aghajanian often served disgusting dishes, says Halpern. She remembers a night when Aghajanian was cleaning monkfish liver: “He took all the worms from the monkfish liver and took sheep’s liver and put it through a grinder,” she says, then served that combination brusquely to the group. Another time he offered staff fish carcasses blended with water. Aghajanian denies serving fish worms in a staff meal. He says, “I would use trims of meat and fish because they were working with a tight budget and the staff at Mimi were never happy unless they had perfect cuts of meat.” Still, the staff often found the family meals so inedible that management would buy them pizza instead.
What an asshole. This song is not about him:
Top Chef 20: Dr. A and I have watched Top Chef since the beginning. It’s one of my favorite shows but it’s going through:
We have two Top Chef links to share:
The Bionic Cheftestant Buddha Lo won the crown this year. That’s two in a row. It sets a bad precedent; it makes him the culinary equivalent of the Patriots or Yankees. Dynasties may be good for sports franchises but not for competition shows.
The Vulture writers point out one of the vices of the just concluded season: Too many challenges seemed to be aimed at Buddha Lo’s sweet spots. In one episode, the quickfire was steaming and the elimination challenge involved Beef Wellington. Buddha is an Asian chef who has been steaming stuff his whole life. He also worked for Gordon Ramsay, one of whose signature dishes is Beef Wellington. Buddha won both challenges. I’m not sure whether to call foul, bullshit, or both.
The last word of our second act goes to Suzanne Vega with a song dedicated to all the Greek American diner owners out there:
We begin our third act with our favorite stolen feature.
Separated At Birth Casting Edition: This week, SAB visits the newsroom with a side-by-side image of the late great columnist Meg Greenfield and Carrie Coon who played her in Steven Spielberg’s The Post.
I was lucky enough to meet Meg Greenfield at the Washington Mardi Gras in the early 1980’s. Nice woman, excellent pundit.
As to Carrie Coon, have I told you lately I have a crush on her? I actually watched a season and a half of The Leftovers because she was in it. I gave it up for Lent…
The Movie List: There are many notable star-character actors working today: Rufus Sewell and Dylan Baker are two that come to mind. Van Heflin was among the first to be called that. Trust me, it’s a compliment.
My Top Ten Favorite Van Heflin Movies
- Act Of Violence
- 3:10 To Yuma
- The Strange Love Of Martha Ivers
- The Prowler
- Battle Cry
- They Came To Cordura
- Green Dolphin Street
I skipped the Andrew Johnson biopic for obvious reason: It sucked. Heflin as one of the five worst president in American history was featured in this segment exactly two months ago. Bottoms up, Van.
Your Weekly Oscar: If you’re wondering why I didn’t post the theme song for the #10 movie on the Heflin list, wonder no more.
Have I told you lately how much I love Oscar Peterson?
Saturday GIF Horse: Since we’re talking Top Chef, here’s the dynamic duo of that show: Padma and Tom. I don’t think he’s the Tom in the Suzanne Vega song but I’m vega on the details.
The second image is from Last Chance Kitchen. Robert Johnson wasn’t consulted on the title unless, that is, Tom has sold his own soul to the devil.
Tweet Of The Week: This image made me cackle, titter, and guffaw.
When you know, you know pic.twitter.com/rEwNOsNEA2
— Grateful Dead (@GratefulDead) June 5, 2023
Here’s the whole damn song:
Consider that this week’s Saturday closer. The unsealing of the Trump indictment yesterday led to a change of plans. I originally planned to write a Sunday Dozen featuring the films of Barbara Stanwyck. Instead, I’m reading the DOJ pleading and writing about it for tomorrow in lieu of the Stanwyck post. So it goes.
That’s all for this week. The last word goes to Barbara Stanwyck, Van Heflin, and two dogs. Arf. Woof: